Ageism Richard Wolff Style

From an otherwise OK Richardl Wolff Vanity Fair piece on Rush Limbaugh, the following paragraph:

It is, rather, a crueler demographic point. The dirty little secret of conservative talk radio is that the average age of listeners is 67 and rising, according to Sinton—the Fox News audience, likewise, is in its mid-60s: “What sort of continuing power do you have as your audience strokes out?”

I like my age, which is 72, even though I have just gone through major surgery and know that I have lived longer than I will live.

The demeaning notion of being less alert, less important, less vital than any other age is so common that Woolf should not be singled out for blame, merely for his conformism and thoughtlessness.

I will put this unknown blog up against any media online or off for the last twelve months for prescience, insight and accurate daily assessment of the Obama movement, including its ongoing Limbaugh game, which Wolff’s article helps to perpetuate with no need for a push.

Write on!

I will put my own intellect up against myself at any prior age including my Phi Bete year at Williams. I have never felt so completely ignorant of fundamental things as now. Nor read as widely with more interest. Nor appreciated so many different viewpoints.

In his defense, Wolff suggests he is being cruel. Not cruel, Richard, exactly what I said above.


Is Ousting Bank Heads Next?

President Obama is trying to dismantle faux capitalism and restore something like the inventive society that folk like Thorstein Veblen wanted to see, a society of productive, engineer-respecting non-conspicuous consumers. Remember that. These are not takeovers. They are makeovers. Huzzah!

That’s the news behind Hard Line on Auto Aid Puts Bailed-Out Firms on Notice

pattern language, politics

Obama’s Ingenuity Card

Barack Obama put all the pieces of the new economy together two years ago but it is/was obviously a mite too radical to get the John McCain’s of the world aboard.

He knew, for example, that, by making a contemporary grid, geography would change entirely because it really would make no difference where you lived. We could build new settlements on cheap land, less prone to flood, fire and other sorts of mayhem.

He also knew that by bringing total transparency to governance, he would create an environment where “reporting” could be done by all of us dolts out here. The result would be a quantum leap in … knowing what is happening. Maybe he also knew newspapers would be dying.

He knew, also, that the world of metrosprawl and everyone owning a cardboard cutout house and one or two newish cars was/is precarious, especially when built on a jail society that is not beyond re-explosion if things get really bad. We need ways to reclaim our public life and make being in public fun and safe.

Above all he knew that ingenuity (a favorite Presidential word) would be required to solve these and other real and implied problems.

Are we failing to catch on?

Ingenuity to me would involve building new communities that have all features needed for living within walking distance or a short ride away. But I have not heard an echo of this.

Ingenuity would mean the proliferation of new or changed or expanded professions — and when will we start calling skilled workers professionals?

Among these — teachers. Many teachers should man (or woman) “remote” teaching nodes that operate nearly 24/7 to bring learning within walking distance (or a short ride).

Drivers — another professional class. The thing lacking in the reconstruction of the auto industry is what they will make. The answer is, not so many cars, not so many single passenger or single family vehicles.

We need to go limo. We need all manner of decent-sized, multi-passenger vehicles. And to work toward free advertiser-supported public transit on OUR roads. A total new generation of larger vehicles could come out sounding good in Obama speech.

We beat back oil dependence and enhanced the longevity of people’s pocketbooks.

Advertiser-supported? Absolutely.

Why would advertisers not fight for the right to have their free transit wrapped with their appropriate message. I just came home on Wendy’s.

Well, this got me out of bed and I will say no more. We have an aging global population of billions who will eventually become unable to control cars on the nightmare emulation of highway culture that is being built worldwide. When we wake up and start getting ingenious about THAT, we will move a giant step toward some serious retooling of the auto industry.

pattern language, politics

Obama Has The Clue on Autofuture

I think deep down the President has the clue on automobiles, houses, highways, transportation, schools, human settlements and the future. But it requires some stutter-stepping to inform the booboisie that the day of two cars in every, project ghettoes,gated stratification and all other accoutrements of an unjust and venal society are gonzo.

No the New York Times does not understand it either, judging by its recent timid look at rebuilding cities. Most architects and designers do not have a clue. And most certainly anyone who believes in the inexorable future and success of the private automobile does not understand it that we are beyond the failed economy of homes and automobiles.

I feel a little the way Freeman Dyson must feel in the face of monolithic global warming apostles, led by one of a tandem of Nobel winners I am having second thoughts about. The other is Paul Krugman.

Most people who can find what I write — HuffPost buries it with despicable aplomb — think I am a science fiction freak. All I am saying is that the economy, our position in the world, depends on creating car-free communities that are literally littered with the local expressions of institutions needed to make life and growth possible, clinics, little educational nodes, social gathering places that make public a nice place to be, not something to flee. And so forth and so on.

Should I be discouraged that no one pays any mind? Given the fact that I have been on the publicity treadmill before and that it does nothing to win any points for a good argument, I can only conclude that we are involved in an evolutionary thing that will prove me right.

So does President Obama get it, does he truly understand that every car made the old way, every move away from a complete reinvention of surface transport, is an exercise in defeat? I think he understands it intellectually but not in his gut yet. It is time to take a deep swallow of truth.

Build a new settlement out of all the billions you are putting out there. Let ex-cons there happily. Or let the lowest impoverished of our cities live there. Practice the economies of scale that rise from the sagacious construction of real villages, real communities.

Here is why I think the President may get it.


There’s even a video.



Why The New Republic Can’t Analyze

Believe it or not I once worked for the New Republic. It was 1954. McCarthy time. I worked for our family friend Michael Straight, the editor, whose mother Dorothy began the magazine. And I worked under the direct guidance of the marvelous woman who was then the managing editor. Her name was Helen Fuller, a native Virginian and a woman of grand and friendly capacities wed to a sharp and agile mind.

As media careers have at once proliferated and become somewhat vapid at the same time, I have watched the New Republic with limited interest. It seems they are always tangentally disturbed and I detect little of the visceral fire for progressive politics that I did when I was compiling voting results and watching Wayne Morse from the gallery arguing the merits of the Dixon-Yates deal.

I am not even going to dignify this entry with a quote. If you want to read a misguided piece on how the bluedogs are going to sink the Obama program, be my guest. Otherwise give these latter day cavil-mongers a wide berth. I think the analytical capacities you might wish for are lacking. Caveat emptor. You be the judge.


I shall relent to include this concluding paragraph to which I ask: Do you know who or what you are dealing with. Do you know the ground game? Do you know 2010? 2012? or even 2016? Obama is not about besting the Clinton record or even having the ultimate first term. He is building blocks every day and he will build to the extent he needs to succeed. None of this seems to have seeped into the mind of the current editor. Michael and Dorothy RIP, I am still here, tactless as ever and more pro-Obama than ever.

It seems impossible to believe that this party, with the challenges before the country so great and the opportunity to address them so rare, would once again follow the path to self-immolation. Yet, somehow, the Democrats can’t help themselves.


Twitter Tips

UPDATED: May 9, 2012

Please visit my Twitter Profile at the link below.


Your Twitter profile bio should contain your most salient keywords. Mine includes Obama2012 because that is what I am mainly doing these days.

Note also that your Tweets will draw more than your immediate followers. If you tweet about particular subjects the words will be indexed by Twitter’s robust search apparatus and your tweets will show up accordingly. If you wish add a hashtag — eg: #apples or #oranges to your tweet provided the message is relevant and of some help to a reader. There is no need to repeat a word in your tweet with a hashtag.

Spotify is a great complement to Twitter. You can tweet what you are listening to with ease.

I get followers on the strength of my updates and (I assume) by the size of my list. I follow them back manually as they come. I also look at people’s lists and follow highly specific lists that relate to my tweets.

I try to mix tweets from my blog with retweets from my followers and retweets from significant news and other channels. Within reason, I  repost items that I feel are relevant, often by quoting salient bits of a post.

I now use Buffer to post many tweets and Hootsuite and Ping FM to widen my options for promotion and scheduling.

TweetEffect enables you to determine how many followers you gain or lose with a single Tweet.

Twitter is now almost a default global communications system because of the simplicity of its concept and the relative ease of its execution. Those who create a solid personal platform will now will be ahead of the curve.